Why is Newcastle Council using a substandard Award to slash the pay of some of the lowest and precarious workers at the City of Newcastle? We do not know why!

But we lodged matters in the NSW IRC to end this scandalous practice.

Council recently “in-sourced” a catering function at Newcastle City Hall and temporarily employed an Executive Chef. The Union acknowledges this Executive Chef has been employed and engaged on the City of Newcastle Enterprise Agreement, 2019.

However, the USU also acknowledges that Council bosses have effectively “cooked up” a wage arrangement to pay the Chef’s catering assistants on the substandard Entertainment and Broadcasting Industry – Live Theatre and Concert (State) Award (Civic Theatre Award).

This is despite the fact that these workers are being engaged in the City Hall and NOT at the Civic Theatre.

This is a shameless and sour arrangement.

The USU has referred this matter directly to the NSW IRC to ensure these City of Newcastle workers are employed under the correct arrangement – namely, the City of Newcastle Enterprise Agreement.

In the proceedings held on Thursday 26 November, Council stated the following “excuse” to justify this outrageous behaviour – “it is an extension of their duties at the Civic Theatre”.

So. What’s next Council bosses? –pay workers under the Entertainment and Broadcasting Industry – Live Theatre and Concert (State) Award to undertake footpath repair, development assessment or beach lifeguard duties as an “extension” of their duties at the Theatre?

Where will it stop?
Council has now even threatened – if the USU proceed with these matters – they will again “outsource” the catering assistant function and effectively terminate these workers.

It seems that Council bosses want to underpay workers, and then terminate them if they are forced to pay the correct wages and conditions at the City of Newcastle. This is not ‘blue bus’ nor does it display CREW values.

It is just despicable.

This seems to be yet another reason why the Council’s ‘loophole’ of the Entertainment and Broadcasting Industry – Live Theatre and Concert (State) Award needs to end.
ALL City of Newcastle workers need to be employed on the City of Newcastle Enterprise Agreement. This substandard Award has no place in the City of Newcastle.

It is worth noting that the Council bosses making these outrageous decisions are NOT covered by this substandard Award. Despite working in the Civic Theatre, they gratefully accept the far more generous pay and conditions of the USU negotiated City of Newcastle EA.

So why should these precarious and lower-paid workers miss out?

The USU will keep the strong and united membership up to date on these disturbing matters with a further report back before NSW IRC scheduled for 14th December.

USU Members Contact
Are you concerned about issues in your workplace? Contact your USU representatives as below to ensure YOUR rights are being upheld.

Keven Burgess – 0400 391 311 (currently on sick leave)
Tony Priestley – 0407 092 614
Craig Perrin 0402 303 223
Shane Hardy 0419 467 071
Ross Warren – (02) 4974 2307 (NCC Admin Building)
Emma Callaghan / Jake Fly – NCC Libraries

Alternatively, you can also contact Organiser Luke Hutchinson on 0419 761 323 or lhutchinson@usu.org.au